Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that affects memory, thinking and behavior, where symptoms eventually grown severe enough to interfere with daily tasks. Sadly, as many as 50 million people around the world are living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of life altering dementias.
As the globe recognizes World Alzheimer’s Day on Wednesday, September 21st, it is important to remind ourselves to not only be vigilant of the early signs of dementia and memory loss, but to consider what can be done in our everyday routines to potentially delay the onset of serious symptoms.
Look at these five easy steps from the Mayo Clinic that can help sharpen your memory!
- Participate in Frequent Physical Exercise-According to The Department of Health and Human Services, exercise increases blood flow throughout the body, including the brain! Such stimulation is great for keeping your mind active and sharp. That means riding a bicycle, taking a brisk job, or even taking a leisurely stroll around the block. For optimal results, it’s best to have 150 minutes a week of moderate activity be part of your routine.
- Socialize Regularly-Although it’s been difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s amazing how technology can help bring us closer to those who mean the most to us. Social interaction with family and friends is a great way to fight depression and stress, both of which can be contributing factors to memory loss.
- Stay Organized-a cluttered and chaotic mess in your home leaves ample chances for you to misplace things. Fortunately, there’s an easy solution! Stay organized and fight memory loss by making sure tasks, meetings, to do lists, and special events are written down and updated. Use your phone, a wall calendar, or an electric planner-whatever system works best for you, use it and use it often!
- Try Puzzles-Participating in quiet yet stimulating activities such as crossword puzzles, sudoku puzzles, or word puzzles is an excellent way to stay mentally fit and challenged. You can also experiment with alternative routes while driving to familiar places, or even learn a new instrument to also accomplish this.
- Eat and Sleep Well-A healthy diet is just as good for your brain as it is for your body! Implement a diet that is rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat protein sources. Avoid excessive amounts of alcohol, which can lead to confusion and memory loss over time. And be sure to get a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night; sleep plays a vital role in helping you consolidate your memories so they can be easily accessed down the road.
Alzheimer’s and severe memory loss is a horrifying truth many pray they and those they hold most dear will never have to face. To know that life’s most precious moments might soon be forgotten is a terrible fate no one deserves. But taking small steps today to help improve our minds and sharpen our memories is key to enjoying the most out of the time we are given.
To learn more about Alzheimer’s Disease, visit the Alzheimer’s Association website here.